Backcountry Steward Internship-Dix, Giant, Hurricane (24 week)

Expected Dates
May 19, 2014 to November 2, 2014
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Position ID
Backcountry Stewards are seasonal positions assigned to public lands along the eastern shores of Lake Ontario, in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks, on State Reforestation areas, and on Conservation Easement lands that are under the jurisdiction of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). Individuals in these positions will perform a variety of duties which involve the preservation, protection and enhancement of the natural resources and the safety and well-being of the public using these resources. Stewards will be trained by Department personnel at the beginning of their internship and will then be supervised by the area Manager or his/her designee.

This area is adjacent to the High Peaks Wilderness and shares many of the same characteristics due to its close proximity. This position requires the willingness and ability to travel by foot and work alone in remote, extremely rugged terrain and inclement weather conditions. There will be daily contact and interaction with visitors of all types and the need to educate and answer questions of the public. The incumbent will be required to work weekends. There will be extended periods of time camping alone (up to five days in a given week) in the backcountry. However, when noty camping for work, the incumbent will be responsible for their own off-site housing. The ability to use a map and compass (or GPS unit) and strong backpacking skills are essential. Specific duties and responsibilities include the following:

- Provide information and education to users relating to the proper use and protection of the natural resource;
- Promote Leave-No-Trace practices;
- Provide assistance and advice to users regarding trails and other facilities;
- Inspect trails and other facilities to determine condition and maintenance requirements;
- Perform routine maintenance on trails and other facilities using hand tools (e.g. bow saw, loppers, etc.) including blowdown removal, trail side cutting, and the removal of debris and garbage;
- Take inventory measurements, both quantitative and qualitative, of specific trail and camping area conditions, and patterns of use, to assist the Department in its resource management programs;
- Collect information on user group size, use of specific trails, and use of camping areas;
- Assist with other SCA and volunteer trail maintenance projects;
- Participate in search and rescue activities as needed;
- Under the direction of a Forest Ranger, assist in back country emergencies, including search, rescue, injuries, and evacuations;
- Provide radio communication for emergency operations;
- Maintain records including a handwritten daily journal, prepare and submit reports relating to daily activities, public use, maintenance needs, and special reports as needed;
- Participate in training as required; and
- Other duties as assigned connected to the conservation project.

Minimum Qualifications
- Must be 18 years of age or older;
- Must have Associates Degree or 60 college credit hours in environmental education, natural resources management, biology, environmental studies, or a related field preferred or 6 months experience in environmental conservation work in a park or recreation setting;
- Must have a valid driver’s license;
- Must be physically capable of performing field work common to the assigned work area over extremely rough terrain and during inclement weather; and
- Have strong backpacking and wilderness camping skills
- Must be certified in CPR and as Wilderness Advanced First Aid.
- Have taken an outdoor education course or have outdoor education experience;

Conviction of a felony may bar appointment or result in removal after appointment.

  • The Dix Mtn, Giant Mtn, and Hurricane Mtn Wilderness Areas are located adjacent to the High Peaks Wilderness. They are located in the eastern region of the Adirondack Park in northern New York. These wilderness areas encompasses approximately 90,000 acres of Forest Preserve land. The topography consists of several “high peaks” – mountains above 4,000 ft above sea level. The terrain is steep and demanding. There is a well developed trail network of marked trails and numerous miles of unmarked paths in thess wilderness areas.
  • Orientation training, back country trail work, campsite and facility monitoring, Leave No Trace
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Recreation Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
some coursework or experience
Earth Sciences
some coursework or experience
Mathematics & Data Analysis
some coursework or experience
Recreation Management
some coursework or experience
competent without supervision
competent with supervision
Hand Tools
some experience
Public Speaking
competent with supervision
Trail Maintenance
some experience